High-dose vitamin D lacks benefits for critically ill patients

The latest study conducted by NHLBI’s Prevention and Early Treatment of Acute Lung Injury (PETAL) Network concluded that administering high doses of vitamin D does not reduce mortality or morbidity in critically ill patients with vitamin D deficiencies.

While vitamin D is commonly known for building strong bones, research suggests it can also help fight infections, reduce inflammation, and is essential for lung development and function.

In this study, the NHLBI PETAL Network included patients who needed admission into an intensive care unit due to pneumonia, sepsis, shock, respiratory failure, and other critical conditions. The Network, in all, enrolled 1,078 patients with a vitamin D deficiency. Half received vitamin D, while the other half received a placebo.

Despite rapid correction of the vitamin D deficiency in the blood among the vitamin D group, researchers found no difference in mortality rates, hospital length of stay, or time on mechanical ventilation between the two groups over a 90 day time period. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, was funded by NHLBI.

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